One Coin at a Time
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Explain the difference between wants and needs.
      2. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe a benefit of group cooperation.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.
    3. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.13 Describe limited resources and scarcity.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe one reason why a person might give or volunteer.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Identify specific learning objectives from the academic core curriculum that are being applied in the service-learning project.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.
    4. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify why private resources (volunteers and money) are needed.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Describe a project budget.
      3. Benchmark E.3 Describe a service plan.
      4. Benchmark E.4 Set a fund-raising goal and identify sources of private funds.
    5. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark E.3 Identify outcomes from the service.

In this the lesson the students learn basic facts about nutrition. They design "Stop Hunger Buckets" for the purpose of collecting coins to donate to a nonprofit organization. They create posters to inform other students about hunger and the fundraising campaign. The students write journal reflections.

PrintThree 45-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • set a fundraising goal and predict how they will feel when they reach the goal.
  • reflect on why people are hungry.
  • design "Stop Hunger Buckets"to distribute to other classrooms for collecting loose change.
  • identify coin values and count money (coins).
  • compare and contrast healthy and unhealthy foods and identify a balanced nutition meal.
  • create posters about hunger and the fundraising campaign.
  • distribute the buckets to classrooms
  • promote the project by hanging up posters, speaking to classes, and using other methods determined by the class.
  • student journals
  • a variety of coins for practice counting (project one set on the wall screen or have each student count coins at their desks)
  • inexpensive plastic buckets, recycled plastic food containers, or shoe boxes; one for each classroom
  • permanent markers,glue, masking tape sparkles, glitter, etc. (for decorating the buckets or boxes)
  • printout of Handout One: Stop Sign for Hunger on red paper; one for each bucket
  • magazine and Internet pictures representing food, the world, and/or hunger (students may bring from home/see Handout Three: Homework)
  • magazine and newspaper pictures of food for the nutrition activity (in case some students don't bring pictures)
  • copies of Handout Two: Family Letter for each student
  • several sheets of posterboard (pre-worded for younger children)
  • markers and other materials for decorating posters
  • string or yarn (two meters of length)
  • scissors
  • image of the food pyramid for discussion of the food groups
  1. Day One

    Anticipatory Set:

    Show the learners an empty bucket. Ask them what is in the bucket. Tell them the bucket is empty, just like the empty stomachs of children all over the world. And just like the bucket is full of opportunity (could be useful for sand, gardening soil, collecting rocks, and holding lots of money), children with good nutrition are more likely to grow up physically and mentally strong and healthy. Motivate learners by saying, "Let's fill these buckets with coins so we can fill empty stomachs with food and opportunities for life."

  2. Tell the students that you have contacted the nonprofit organization they agreed to work with in the previous lesson, if applicable. Tell them what you learned about the organization's needs.

  3. Explain to the class that they will be distributing "Stop Hunger Buckets" to each classroom in the building so each classroom can bring in coins to fight hunger. Ask the students what they need to do to convince other students to give who haven't been learning about the needs of hungry people. Brainstorm ideas, such as decorate the buckets, make posters, send representatives to each classroom to promote the project, talk about the issue with friends and family, ask the principal to help, give an incentive (competition between classes) to earn the most money, etc.

  4. Use coins projected on a wall screen as you count by pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, based on students' level. Propose different scenarios, such as, what if five people each bring in one quarter to help hungry people? How much money will we have to donate?

  5. After practice counting different amounts, have the students estimate the amount of money they think they might collect. Discuss a timeline for the project. After determining the due date, calculate with the students' help how much money they have to earn each day and in each classroom (if each classroom participates). Adjust the final estimate to make it realistic. Write down the estimate where students will see and remember it.

  6. Show the students the buckets and the Stop Sign for Hunger (printout of Handout One) and the poster board. Tell them they will work in groups to decorate the buckets and posters. Discuss what could go on the buckets and posters so they are attractive and give some information about the project. This may include words and pictures, as well as glitter and stickers. You may also put an informational card in the bucket to give other classrooms background information about hunger and the project.

  7. Tell the students that in the next class period they will decorate the buckets. As homework, have students look in magazines and on the Internet for images to bringto schoolthat they want to put on the buckets. They may also think of slogans and words that encourage people to give. Also, have them bring in one image of food from a newspaper or magazine. Write these three assignments in their planners or copy Handout Three: Homework for each student to bring home. Also, send home Handout Two: Family Letter to inform families of the service-learning project.

  8. As a reflection, say, "Why do you think some people are hungry when others have more than enough to eat?" Don't expect them to have the answer to this, but reflect on it to raise awareness. Discuss and have the learners write or draw reflections in their journals.

  9. Day Two

    Anticipatory Set:

    Write the following on the board: Number Smart, Picture Smart, People Smart, Word Smart, and Other. Tell the learners that there are many ways to be smart in the fundraising project they are beginning. Ask them to reflect on the ways to be smart listed on the board and think about ways they will use these intelligences (and others) in the project. For example, they will use their number skills to count money, word skills to make posters, and people skills to talk to others about hunger. Tell them that this is a service-learning project because they will be learning at the same time they are doing a service for hungry people. Have the students predict how they think they may feel after they have collected lots of money for hungry people. Have them draw or write in their journals about how they will feel.

  10. Put the students into small groups so each group has one or two buckets to decorate. They may use the images they brought from home as well as the tools and materials you supply. (See Materials.) Help the younger students with the lettering, if necessary. They may use glue and masking tape to stick pictures to the outside of the buckets.

  11. While the buckets dry, bring the class together on the floor to talk about nutrition. Show the students the image of the food pyramid created by the United States Department of Agriculture (See Bibliographical References.) Describe the different food groups and tell them that a balanced diet includes food from all of these groups but not too many fats and sweets that do not provide nutrients. Ask the students to recall why we need nutrients (for good health and so our bodies grow and develop).

  12. Tell the student to get the food images they cut out from magazines and newspapers for their homework. Have extras available for students who don't have them.

  13. Put a line on the floor with a piece of string or yarn. Have the students sit in a circle around the string line. Tell them that on one side of the line, they will put healthy foods (from the food pyramid), and on the other side they will put unhealthy foods (that have lots of fat and sugar but little nutrition).

  14. Ask students to one by one put their images in the middle of the circle (on either side of the string), identifying the food group as they do it. If foods seem to have some nutrition but also seem unhealthy, discuss where they should go. (An older group may propose turning the string intotwo circles to make a Venn diagram.)

  15. When all of the students have placed their food, tell them they are going to make balanced meals from the healthy side of the line. Ask for volunteers to find items from each of the food groups to make a meal. After a student combines pictures to make a healthy meal, review the food groups and confirm that it is a healthy meal. Continue until there aren't enough food combinations left to make balanced meals. Tell the students that the money they collect will help hungry people get balanced healthy meals so they will have energy to grow and stay healthy and smart.

  16. Remind the students that hungry people need nutrition to give them energy to work and play, as well as nutrition for growing and thinking clearly.

  17. Day Three

    Anticipatory Set:

    Write a slogan from an advertising campaign, such as Nike's "Just Do It!" on the board. Talk about how the words are memorable and catch people's attention. They also tell people what to do. In Nike's slogan, the words tell people to exercise.

  18. Brainstorm slogans and words of encouragement to write on the posters they will make today to advertise their fundraising project. Write these ideas on the board for students to use as they decorate the posters.

  19. Tell the students that the posters they make will tell other people about hunger and encourage them to give money to help hungry people. The posters also include details about the project. The posters should be attractive and neat so they get people's attention. Tell the students where the finished posters will be displayed.

  20. Provide the basic information that needs to go on the posters: timeline for the loose change collection, the name of the organization, collection goal, basic instructions, and your classroom name. For younger students, the teacher may write this information on the poster or type it and print it out to be glued on the poster.

  21. Set out the posters and supplies and assign students to groups to work on the posters. The students decorate the posters with drawings and cut out images. They may also add words of encouragement and motivation (from the brainstorming above).

  22. Day Four

  23. This is the day that they deliver the buckets, hang up the posters, and launch the fundraising project. Determine the roles of the students. If the class has decided to talk to each classroom as they deliver the buckets, discuss what they should say and who will say it. Keep it simple and have students practice in front of your own class first. Have students ask questions of the presenters so they get practice answering questions before they go to the other classrooms.

  24. After practice, launch the project by speaking to classes, hanging up posters, delivering buckets, and doing other promotions determined by the students in the Day One brainstorming (second bullet).

  25. When the students return to the classroom, reflect on how the presentations went and how other classes reacted to the project and the posters. Discuss what they should do next to keep up the excitement. Allow some time to reflect in journals, if desired.


The teacher can assess comprehension by viewing student application of the concepts on the poster and buckets. Also, observe student understanding of nutrition information and coin identification in the group activities.